Endangered cheetah arrives at Belfast Zoo, with plans afoot to breed cubs

Mia arrived at Belfast Zoo from Fota Wildlife Park in Cork Credit: Belfast Zoo

The world’s fastest cat - the cheetah – has returned to Belfast Zoo.

Capable of travelling at speeds nearing 70mph, the female named Mia will stay in a new specially designed ‘Cheetah lookout’ habitat.

Mia will be two years old in August and Belfast Zoo are planning for a male cheetah to arrive in the summer with the hope of breeding the pair.

The cheetah is a Northern Cheetah subspecies, which is considered endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 800 left in the wild.

“Belfast Zoo is continuing our commitment to conservation and participation in the European Breeding Programme,” Zoo Manager Alyn Cairns said.

“The arrival of Mia is a great way to educate the public about the collaborative work that zoos do as part of EAZA breeding programmes, and we are delighted to add Mia to our animal collection.

“Zoo staff are excited to have cheetah in the zoo again. We have created a new habitat that will encourage cheetah natural behaviour.

“In the wild, cheetahs are often seen perching on rocks or low branches looking out for prey and predators. From the platforms in the new habitat, Mia has a great view, not just of her enclosure, but of many other parts of the zoo as well.

“There are also flat plateau areas where she can sprint and secluded landscaped areas to allow for privacy.”

Mia the cheetah is a new arrival at Belfast Zoo Credit: Belfast Zoo

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